Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky, who's LONG.LIVE.A$AP album debuted at No.1 on the billboard 200 in late January, and Bronx's native/rapper French Montana are both covering the March/April 2013 issue of XXL Magazine.
Rocky sat down with the magazine's editor-in-chef, Vanessa Satten, to chat about the passing of his father, who passed away on Christmas Eve 2012, recounting how hurt he was to lose his father so suddenly, and his parents love for hip-hop and their biggest influences-- which helped him grow into the artist that he is today.
And before he was an artist, the rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, a fashion-conscious, drug dealing kid from Harlem who rose to fame as part of the A$AP Mob, talks being one of New York's biggest hopes for a hip-hop comeback.In the other cover story, French Montana, whose debut disc, Excuse My French, drops on April 16, chatted about himself, his hopes for the album and his relationship with rapper 50 Cent to even reflecting on the day he was shot in the head.
The new issue of XXL Magazine hits stands nationwide on February 19th-- and giving our the first ever XXL Awards, honoring the best that 2012 had to offer.
In other magazine news:
Rapper Trinidad Jame$ snags the latest cover of RollingOut Magazine, where he talks about doing him and caring less about what the critics has to say about him, because they "just don't get him."
Here's the highlights:
“I just appreciate music, man,” he says. “I listened to so much stuff over the years. [And] there’s music that I hear currently and I think ‘I love this’ and I love it for it what it is. And there’s music I heard back in the day that I loved in the same way. Who am I to say that because these people did it a long time ago, it’s better than right now? I just appreciate music as a whole.”
On why he believe he receives so much criticisms:
“My success came so fast — and it’s different,” James says modestly. “A lot of times in life when we don’t understand something, 8 out of 10 times, we’re gonna go negative before we go positive. It’s very rare that something happens that you don’t understand and you [respond with] ‘Oh, that’s good.’ You’re gonna think it’s bad because you don’t understand it. And with misunderstanding, comes negative thoughts. That’s just how life is. It’s something to get used to. But it is what it is. I gotta do me.”
On how he's treated by other rappers:
On what comes to mind when making music:
“Lots of [older rappers] gave me their fair share of [praise] — [saying] they’re proud of me and [telling me] to just do me,” James explains. “Whatever that consists of — just do me, because they see the originality in it. They understand it because they’ve been down this road. When you’re a real listener of music, and not just a radio type of person, you get a better understanding of my music, because you’ll listen to it for what it is. Then you’ll be all right. Most people that come out usually sound like someone. But I really can’t think of a rapper that I sound like. I really have my own unique style.”
“I didn’t do anything too crazy when it comes to making this music,” he adds. “I just believed in my sound and I believed in my lyrics. It was easy for me to believe because all I did was rap about my life. I feel like I have a good ear for beats, picking the right beats and I’m big on sound placement — and it came out dope. It didn’t matter to me what anyone said, it was dope as hell to me. And it ended up getting me pretty far, pretty fast. And I thank God for it.”Be sure to read more here